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July 2019

31 July – Faith Is The Bridge

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Faith is not only believing in what we can see with our natural senses, but believing that what we see with the eyes of our spirit will be made manifest so that we can then see, feel and touch it in the natural.

God wants us to go from “faith to faith”, ever increasing in our ability and capacity to believe and to see those things that are not as though they are. When we’ve climbed one hill to go to the next one, continually climbing higher until we are not just standing on the top of little hills anymore, we are standing on mountain summits.

The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:19)

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped”. (Psalm 18:36)

We have all been given a measure of faith and God expects us to do something with that measure; to grow and use it to call things into being. That’s the process God uses to bring the vision He gives us to pass.

When we look at some of the mighty exploits of people in the bible and read about the men and women who believed God, we can sometimes feel inadequate. But we shouldn’t. They simply grew their measure of faith to believe for what they “saw” was possible in God. They held onto God’s promises, fed their faith and got some faith muscles.

It’s not a secret for a select few; we can all do something with the measure of faith we have been given. Use it and grow it!  God says He is no respecter of persons; He does not show partiality, but He does reward those who diligently seek Him. (Romans 2:12)  

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”. (Hebrews 11:6)

Today God wants each one of us to wait on Him for the vision He has for us. It will no doubt be bigger than your faith right now but don’t be discouraged or let go of the revelation He reveals to you because it seems impossible or too hard. Build your faith by going to God’s Word and finding out what He says about it. When you do it will grow your measure of faith and cause those things you “see” to come to pass.

But the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)

Prayer: Lord please reveal to me the vision you have for me. I take my measure of faith and choose to use it and grow it, so that I too can carry out and fulfil all that you have  for me. In Jesus Name Amen.

30 July – Pressure On

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Many people would be quite happy never to have any stress or pressure in their lives, and perhaps we can all at times long for the quiet life where everything is simple, easy and without any stress. This is especially true when we feel like we are surrounded by chaos, noise and demands on our life. We can actually spend a lot of effort seeking to be comfortable and in the Western World we can seek this comfort above all else.

However Jesus never said we wouldn’t experience pressure; in actual fact He warned that we would have trials and pressure situations. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Perhaps Jesus was warning us about seeking our comfort above everything else, for a comfortable person is very hard to move or motivate to do anything. Plus when comfort is our goal then when we aren’t comfortable we can start to think that God must have abandoned us somehow.

The danger of seeking comfortability and a life of no pressure, (in contrast to knowing inner peace) can very quickly turn into complacency, reticence, and lethargy. Whereas God’s peace motivates and undergirds us to step out; to take risks and to move in faith.

When we seek to live a life seeking after God and His plan and purpose for us there is absolutely no doubt we are going to feel stretched, pressured and vulnerable at times. But it’s in these pressure seasons that our faith is encouraged to grow; we gain inner strength and discover who we are and who our God is. If we look through history it’s easy to see that some of the most amazing discoveries, exploits and feats of heroism have been achieved when people came under tremendous pressure rather than remaining comfortable.

God even reminds us through creation that, “when we long for a life without difficulties to be aware that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and a diamond is simply a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure” (P. Marshall)

We are far more resilient than we possibly imagine ourselves to be and it’s often only as we are stretched in our current capabilities and comfort zones that we grow, develop and learn to rely on God’s strength and enabling. It’s in the very space where, “we run out” that we become aware of God’s grace and presence with us and can learn that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)

Today whether you are under pressure or feeling at ease know that God is with you and He has your life in His capable hands. Every season has a purpose and the key in the midst of it all is to seek God and His way of doing things, rather than trying to achieve a comfortable, stress free life. “For God’s ways change sand into pearls and coal into diamonds using time and pressure and He’s working on each one of us too.“

Prayer: Lord help me to see where you are working in my life and to not seek after comfort above what you are wanting to do in and through my life. Please remind me that in all things you work for the good of those who love you, even if that means you will allow pressure in my life to bring out the brilliance, colour and shine in me. In Jesus name Amen.

 

29 July – Not a set of rules

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There is so much more that we can do than what we can’t when it comes to God. Holiness is not religion or being seen to be doing and saying only the “appropriate” things. Holiness draws us close to God; it brings freedom and a full and overflowing life. Whereas religion actually binds people up and is full of fear, bondage and legalism.

Everything in legalism is about something you can’t do. Yet if you look at Jesus and how He lived you see him partying, eating, drinking, mixing with all sorts of people, and even going to what the religious people would have said were forbidden places. The religious legalists of the time even called Jesus a glutton and drunkard. (Matthew 11:19)

Perhaps a better way to seek God and to be holy as He is holy is not to look for a set of rules to live by, but to concentrate on what we can freely do in life, because in doing so it will bring a lot of fun and joy into our lives. (1 Peter 1:16; John 10:10)

God is not primarily interested in our outward condition, especially when it doesn’t match up with our inner life. When we determine to seek our best life in God the main thing is our motives and why and how we are doing things. If our motives are pure and we are seeking to be the best version of ourselves, full of goodness and life and colour, God will continuely lead us in the right direction and away from those things that aren’t going to be beneficial for us or those around us.

However as I tell our kids, “You can’t be afraid of living…let yourself live, trust God to lead you, listen to his voice and simply go out and enjoy being you and discovering who that is. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake, crossing the line or messing up because you are in the process of living and learning. When you have a relationship with Jesus and you’re not being confined to a set of rules to live by through habit, fear or other’s expectations, your’e going to be just fine. You’ll discover you, your place, God’s heart and the abundant, blessed life He wants to give you; that He desires to give for no other reason than that He loves and delights in you. Trust yourself; trust God and go and live. He’ll be there with you, every step of the way.

Today I encourage you to check your motives as to why you are doing or not doing things. Are you seeking to be the fullest, most colourful version of yourself and focusing on the life that God has always planned for you? Or are you being constrained by legalism, fear and judgement and then getting busy putting that on others too? I recommend giving it all over to Jesus and choosing to pick up his yoke which is easy and light, as you learn from Him and go out and truly live.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are for me and not against me and desire my life to be filled with good things. Please purify my heart and show me how to live truly free in you. In Jesus name Amen.

28 July – Be Real

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When I was little I had this thought that everything I thought, said or did was being recorded. I kept on thinking that there were these two little men with a film camera following me wherever I went documenting my life inside out.

This constant thought actually kept me from getting into too much trouble, acting as an ever present awareness that what I did and thought mattered and I was going to have to give an account for my life at some point in the future.

Nobody really said much as I was growing up about accountability or told me, “God is watching you” that I can remember, but I knew that I was not alone either way.

As an adult I chuckle now at my two little cameramen running around after me recording my life story, but perhaps it wasn’t so far from the truth for the bible actually says, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God. “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12)

Maybe if we all had a greater awareness of God knowing our every thought and action it would help us to think twice before we acted, spoke or allowed wrong thinking to remain unchecked for too long in our hearts and minds, and especially when no one else is looking.

Often the question we would benefit from regularly asking is, “who are we when we think no one else is watching”? That’s not necessarily the social media persona that everyone likes to portray of their lives on Facebook and Instagram etc. Or of the places we go, the food, clothes, destinations or perfect family images we post. Hopefully we all know that a lot of these things we see from others is often only manufactured to be what people want others to think of them and are usually not a real portrayal of their “real” life at all.

What I am talking about is the real us – who we are when we think it doesn’t matter and we aren’t trying to impress anyone; when we are at home, with our family or alone. What we are reading, watching, thinking on and how do we behave with those around us in our everyday lives? Because that is actually who we are and sometimes that is very different from what we might publically portray or even want to be.

But God knows us and we will all have to eventually give an account to Him. He says, “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Psalm 139:1-5 says, Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.

“You know where I go and where I lie down. You know everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it. You are all around me—in front and in back—and have put your hand on me.” 

Today be real and choose to grow in your authenticity, because that’s what speaks volumes to the world around you.  Be honest about who you are when no one else is looking. God knows so we aren’t fooling Him, but He also neither condemns nor withdraws His love from us when we are less than who we ought to be. He simply says, “I’m here to love, forgive and help you with any weaknesses you may be struggling with and to fill you with all the strength, patience, self control and goodness you need to be the person I have made you to be.” “Come and learn from me, and I will give you rest and strength for the road ahead.” (Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 40:29)

Prayer: Lord please forgive me where I have messed up or aren’t being real with myself or others.  Would you fill me with your love, hope and strength today so that I can be the person you’ve made me to be, even when no one else is looking. In Jesus name Amen.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28)

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)

 

27 July – Get The Blueprint

I’ve been asking the Lord why He releases things like gold dust on people and I felt Him reply, “you’ve been honouring and framing up heavenly things, so they come. “ I want to show you how easy it is, and how when my people see with heavens eyes what the world can look like it will then be released and come to pass”.

It’s very easy to see what the devil would like the world to look like and I won’t do his work for him by repeating all the despicable things he has and is trying to release upon the earth. But those who believe and follow Jesus have the answer to stem the tide and turn things around. We are to look with heaven’s eyes; to see from a heavenly perspective what God desires and then take the initiative to work with Him to see, believe and release that “picture” or blueprint from heaven to earth, rather than merely commentating on how dreadful everything is.

Today, what sort of world does our loving Heavenly Father want us to live in? What is His plan and blueprint for our families, streets, communities and nations? We are far more powerful than we think. Jesus said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18) and He’s expecting that in is name we will carry on what He’s begun.

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

Jesus also said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

Today seek what God is saying from above. Come up out of the world’s view and way of thinking and see with heaven’s eyes as you take your place in releasing heaven on earth.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

Prayer: Lord please help me to see from your perspective what you desire for my family, community and nation. Shift my focus from the troubles around me to look to you and the promises in your word and what my part in releasing answers and blessings from heaven is. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

26 July – What Are Your First Words?

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When we are under pressure or we are feeling fearful or stressed what is in our hearts and what we really believe and feel will be revealed through our actions, expressions and the words we speak. This is especially apparent in an emergency and what our first words are. Are they words of life, faith and blessing or do we choose to speak words of disaster, death and hopelessness?

God encourages us to guard our hearts for out of them flow the issues or springs of life. Therefore if we want life to flow forth from our hearts and mouths we need to watch what we are storing and allowing to reside in our hearts and minds, because what goes in, must come out. The words we speak can be what put’s us over or what is used to try and bring us down and destroy us.

When we fill our hearts and mouth with God’s words of faith, hope and love then that is what we will declare when we are under attack or pressure. Our initial first words, which are often vital in determining the outcome of a situation, are to be one’s of life, faith and hope. As soon as we start to speak and attach our faith to these first words God gets on the job and ministering angels are immediately released into our situation.

Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will. (Psalm 103:20)

“Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12)

Today, listen to the words you are speaking. Determine if they are words of hope, life and faith or are they words of  fear and defeat? If you realise your words and what you believe are contrary to what heaven is saying then don’t just sit there waiting for something bad or difficult to happen until you do something about it. Get out God’s Word and His great promises and start putting them in your heart and in your mouth. Let them become the first words you speak into every situation, as you make your words for good and not evil, success and not failure; for blessing and peace.

My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight. Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established.” (Proverbs 4:21-25)

Prayer: Lord I’m choosing to make my words line up with what you declare in your Word. Please put a guard across my heart and mouth so that I only store up life, joy and blessing, and please forgive me where I have allowed myself to believe and speak contrary to your promises. I choose to determine to make my first words in every situation one’s that are designed to bring me into victory. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

25 July – Saying Yes To Life

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I was talking with a friend today who has been around for a little longer than I have. She was sharing about her appreciation of really making the most of every opportunity to enjoy experiences to the full while she had the chance.  She’d always danced and laughed and immersed herself in whatever she was doing as much as possible while she had the chance. Now that she is older and not so agile she is very grateful for all that she has seen, done and lived.

It got me thinking on the importance of saying Yes to life. In this busy, fast paced world we live in, with often limited time and attention to the things that really matter, a lot of people are quick to say “No”. “No thanks!” “I’m too busy”. But if our first response is No we are very likely missing some God moments designed especially to bring us great joy, blessing and growth. Whenever we say No to life, we are saying no to fresh ideas, new possibilities, new adventures and the chance to make unexpected discoveries. It’s impossible to say Yes to everything, but most of us could definitely say “Yes” to more than we do. Why not listen to yourself and examine how many times you say, “No” in a week.

Some great things to say Yes to are:

Say Yes to travel – my Dad used to say, “go traveling it will make you a bigger person on the inside and make you a better person”. Travel opens your eyes. If you really want to experience some growth and new perspective then go travelling.

Say Yes to talking with new people. We teach our children stranger danger, but as adults we sadly too often avoid some of the most wonderful experiences and the opportunity to meet and make new friends because we still shy away from people we don’t know yet. Practice the art of small talk, of smiling and making eye contact. At the very least you will brighten someone’s day and very possibly meet your next best friend.

Say Yes to something that pushes you out of your comfort zone
Yep its awkward,  but learning a new skill, trying something different and taking action on something we’ve been putting off for ages will only make us grow.

Say Yes to some Me time to reflect, recharge and renew. The key to a healthy life is balance. It’s okay to have some Me time. It’s recharges our passion and excitement for life.  Spend your “me” time doing something that makes you happy. Plus as you do you’ll inspire others in your life to do the same.

Say Yes to a date night. If you don’t have a date take yourself or a good friend out. Say Yes to having some fun and paying some attention to the ones you love and who are important to you.

Say Yes to something you would normally turn down. Try different food, different music, different places, meeting different people, a different activity, sport or hobby. If it’s pure, lovely and worthy of giving a shout about, go for it.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”. (Philippians 4:8)

Lastly but most importantly Say Yes to God. When He prompts, asks or places something on your mind and heart – Say Yes! It may stretch and push you out of your comfort zone, but say Yes anyway! One of the greatest thing we can do in life is to consistently say Yes to God. Many of us waste a lot of time hesitating, deliberating and arguing when He just wants us to say Yes to Him so He can bless and use us in some amazing way.

When we say “No” we safely stay within our comfort zone. But saying, “Yes” means our life can expand and deepen. The “Yes” allow us to open up our life to possibilities and joy.

Practice saying Yes to God and Yes to life today!

 

24 July – An Invitation

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This is a repost from several years ago when I was first discovering that we don’t have to wait to die to experience heaven. We have an invitation now…so good and changed my life 🙂

I heard a quote this week that “being educated in something is not the same as having the substance of it”.

Jesus gives us an invitation to belong to His family, to belong in His space and Kingdom, and we are invited to explore that “country” that we now belong to when we accept Jesus Christ to be the centre of our lives.

It’s like we have been given a passport to a new country but most people are not using it.  Too often we just sit at the airport and miss the heavenly places Jesus has invited us to experience with Him.

Ephesians 2:6 says that we were, “made alive together in Christ and He raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So then if we are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:1)

Just reading and being educated about a foreign country is not the same as living and experiencing the substance of that place.

God wants us to experience the reality, splendour and awe of heaven. We belong there. We are “called out” to be part of heavens reality and function. It is not a place we just go to when we die, but a place we are called to experience and take our place in NOW, as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

It’s time those of us who know Jesus use our invitation – our passport into the heavenlies. It is stamped with the sacrificial blood of Jesus, and we are being called to take our seats. It ‘s not just important for us in this time, but for all those who are crying out for truth!

Lets not settle for the familiar, as too often the familiar can become the enemy of the future. God’s heart is for us to know Him. He has always called His people to be courageous, and to step out in faith knowing He is there!

Happy travels.

23 July – Trust Issues

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Perhaps when it really comes down to it most of us don’t really trust many other people – it’s something I’m working on because when we have trust issues it undoubtedly becomes a limiting factor somewhere in our life.

The interesting thing about not trusting others easily or not at all, is that the root cause of our mistrust is often not about whether other people are trustworthy, but rather that we don’t trust ourselves.

People may have let us down, rejected or abandoned us, we’ve experienced hurt, disappointments and perhaps even abuse of some sort at the hands of others. Because of these things we can process our experiences in a way that leads us to believe we are the cause of all the negativity and hurt in our life. We surmise, often incorrectly that there is something wrong with us; we must be making bad decisions, be flawed in some way or other such negative self talk that causes us to doubt ourselves, who we are and whether we can trust ourselves, let alone other people.

One key to remedy to all this negative self talk and mistrust is to begin to back ourselves – to trust who God has made us to be. God says each of us is unique, special and made for a purpose. He’s planted greatness on the inside of us and the ability to grow and develop as a person. We previously may have not made the wisest choices and therefore reaped the consequences, or we could have been mistreated in some way through no fault of our own. However the fact is we are still here! We still have a life to live and God has a plan that far exceeds what we are thinking right now! (Ephesians 3:20)

We can’t alter the past but we can move forward and learn from it. We can change the narrative and determine to be greater than the sum of all our fears, other people’s opinions and the negative voices in our head. We can choose to be more compassionate to others who may be struggling and work on being self aware and taking resposiblity regarding our weaknesses that require strengthening, so that we continue to grow as a person.

I encourage you to start to believe and trust your abilities, what God says about you, what He is able to do in and through you, and who you are becoming today. Choose growth rather than stagnation; forgiveness rather than bitterness, confidence rather than self-doubt and listening to God’s thoughts and opinions about you, instead of the past or your negative self talk.

Back yourself today, (God does) and you will undoubtedly start to increase your capacity. Your world will get bigger; You will get bigger, and your ability to love and trust both yourself, God and others will go to a whole new level.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:6 NLT)

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:26 ESV)

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

For the Spirit God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be honest about any trust issues I may have and to
look at where I may feel like I can’t trust myself or others because of past hurts or disappointments. I don’t want these negatives to define who I am, my relationships or my future so I ask you to please cleanse my heart, restore my confidence in this area and show me the way forward. I believe good things about myself because that’s what you believe about me. In Jesus name Amen

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